Pavement Whispers: Volume 359 May 24
From news of a new wine bar from the Julius Pizzeria team to an extension for a popular West End cocktail spot, The Weekend Edition is always on the search for the latest food news in Brisbane, dedicated to ensuring its readers are in the know. When we put our ears to the pavement this week, this is what we found out …
Last week we broke some big news that will surely be of interest to a) fans of Fish Lane restaurant Julius Pizzeria and its sibling aperitivo and spuntini spot Bar Brutus, b) lovers of Italian wine, and c) folks hungry for some sensational Italian-inspired small plates. Later this year Fish Lane will welcome Bar Rosa, a new wine bar and eatery from Cordell Khoury, Paolo Biscaro, Aleks Dzajkovski, Anthony Nicastro and Stefan Angelovski – the crew behind Julius and Brutus. The group is taking over the space formerly occupied by Gauge on Grey Street with the goal of converting it into a distinctive and welcoming space to enjoy pre-show sips or some settled-in snacking. The menu will transport tastebuds to the backstreets of Florence courtesy of a selection of stuzzichini like charred octopus and succulent meatballs, as well as a rotating plate of pasta or grilled fish for those after something more substantial. As is to be expected from a wine bar, Bar Rosa will boast a strong-but-concise wine list that will compliment the menu. Bar Rosa is due to open later in the year – keep your eyes on The Weekend Edition for more updates as they emerge.
Sunny Side Sandwiches
We’ve been hanging out for word of the return of Windsor’s sambo dispensary Sunny Side Sandwiches and now we rejoicing with the confirmation that the sanga specialist will reopen the doors to its Homezone Windsor location this Friday. After Sunny Side was hit hard by the floods, owners Mack Bowers and Charline De Conto have been busy getting the business’s original site back on its feet, establishing a pop-up site at Broken Hearts Burger Club’s Ashgrove home while they refurbished the space and retooled the menu. The new-look Sunny Side boasts a reconfigured interior and operational model, with the coffee and sandwich counter now extended to the entrance, giving patrons a chance to see the sandwich-making process in action. Sunny Side’s kitchen is also newly equipped to handle the shop’s bread-making needs, with milk buns, Japanese-style shokupan milk bread, focaccia, wholemeal and rye bread now made on site. As for the menu, expect the same range of elevated sandwiches further enhanced by a range of deli-style cold cuts to add to your handful of choice.
Jungle Bar gets bigger
You might have already seen the newspaper-covered windows on its neighbouring space or seen hints of exciting news being teased on the cocktail spot’s Instagram page, but we’re here to confirm that West End’s home of tiki-inspired tipples, Jungle Bar, has some expansion plans in the works. Jungle Bar’s owner William Clair has revealed to us that he is currently adding another hole-in-the-wall portion next door to his beloved drinkery (which he has owned for the past six years), transforming the former barber shop into a tropical-style seating area. Once complete, expect the new addition to feature a striking contemporary vibe, courtesy of bamboo, new booths, wall murals and more tiki-themed decor. Once Jungle Bar’s licence is upgraded, William is eager to install a second bar wrought from rock and bamboo, and boasting a bigger back bar stocked to the brim with rum. We’ve been told that the current 90-strong rum selection will be bolstered by a further 100 bottles, while an overhauled menu (available on both sides) will showcase some covetable concoctions. Jungle Bar’s new addition will be ready in roughly five weeks. We’ll have a closer look for you once it’s ready.
The Alemre Group is a seasoned hospitality crew with a broad range of food concepts in its cadre of eateries. From Spanish cuisine at Ole Restaurant and Mexican street eats at Mucho Mexicano to homestyle Italian at VICI Italian and hearty Turkish at Downtown Istanbul, the Alemre crew boasts a well-rounded portfolio. Up until now, there’s been one glaring omission – burgers. Thankfully the team has rectified this with the launch of its new burger-centric concept Mister Mustard. This patty-slinging outfit is a delivery-only operation, with a dark kitchen utilised to craft its killer selection of American-style burgers and shakes. The menu is concise but filled with the essentials, including a classic smashed wagyu patty cheeseburger with Jack cheese, Picklehead pickles, special sauce and mustard on a milk bun, and a hot chicken sandwich boasting boneless buttermilk fried chicken brushed with chilli oil and habanero honey served over two slices of buttered milk loaf. The range is fleshed out with serves of crinkle fries, battered onion rings and fried Picklehead dill chips – we’ve even heard there might be a mustard-infused milkshake available. While Mister Mustard is geared towards third-party delivery, those in South Bank can track down the kitchen if they manage to spy its signage (hint: look near VICI Italian and you’re close) and order directly.
Toombul Shopping Centre’s closure
In news that will be a heavy blow for locals of Brisbane’s inner-north, last week Toombul Shopping Centre announced on its Facebook page that it would be closing permanently, citing “extent of damage, the risk of future flooding, and the importance of certainty for our partners.” as key reasons. As for the future of the Toombul site, the statement went on to say that, “no decision has been made on the future plan for the site, and at this time we do not have a timeline to resolve this.” The centre, which expanded in 2019 with the launch of its dining and entertainment hub UPSTAIRS, was home to numerous retailers and eateries, including Dapple + Waver, Il Gancio, Niku Ramen and Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq – many of which will now be forced to relocate. We’ll endeavour to keep you updated on any news of tenant relocations as we hear them.
The news of Toombul’s closure was followed closely by another sad announcement – after a decade of operation, cherished incubator-turned-restaurant-and-bar Wandering Cooks has officially closed its doors. Wandering Cooks owner Angela Hirst took to social media to disclose the reasoning behind the choice, mentioning the hurdles of the past two years (which included lockdowns and a relocation) as contributing factors to the decision-making process. Angela also thanked her staff, kitchen partners, farmers and Brisbane’s food community at large for its support, declaring that it was the people that made Wandering Cooks what it was. Check in later this week for our retrospective feature on Wandering Cooks and its immeasurable impact on Brisbane’s dining landscape.
If you’ve heard something that’s worth mentioning in The Weekend Edition’s Pavement Whispers, email [email protected].
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